"Reclaiming Christian Values," a Commentary by Corinne Whitlatch, Executive Director of Churches for Middle East Peace

August 23, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Middle East Online


Some churches and denominations in the United States have direct partner ties with Palestinian churches and to churches in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Israel. All feel a strong attachment to the Holy Land and long for peace and reconciliation with all members of the Abrahamic family of faiths - Jews, Christians and Muslims, says Corinne Whitlatch.

WASHINGTON - The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and the broader schism between Israel and Arab states, is of deep concern to a great many people who have no personal connection to either side. While Arab and Jewish Americans are on the front lines of citizen advocacy regarding US policy toward the conflict and peacemaking efforts, secular and Christian Americans are also involved and consider the conflict important to their lives and to the United States. Many people of all three faiths hold a profound attachment to the Holy Land. As an example, Christians grieve the severing of the natural and historic connection between their holy sites in Jerusalem and Bethlehem by Israel's separation barrier.

Churches for Middle East Peace (CMEP) is a coalition which seeks to influence the US Congress and Administration to adopt polices and take actions that would resolve the conflict and ease human suffering. The coalition brings together Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant national churches, denominations, and agencies to speak to the government with one clear voice, calling for justice and peace. The goal of CMEP is a negotiated agreement that would bring recognition and security to Israel and a sovereign viable state to Palestinians, with Jerusalem being shared by the governments and the people.